Friday, September 6, 2013

Life at the beach

Holy cow! I'm so in the rears with this thing. Life is streaming by. Something must be said of the days past. They were good. We walked on the beach early the other morning and came upon the Turtle Patrol checking on a loggerhead nest. In this particular nest most of the babies had already hatched but this morning three were struggling to the surface.

The sun was fully risen. The birds were out. A very dangerous time. Thea, Kristiana and I joined a small group of beach goers helping the volunteers protect the hatch-lings on their long journey to the nearby sea. Two of the babies were still a bit misshapen from their time in the egg. One had a lagging flipper, the other a slight hourglass shape to its shell. We, the human shield, guarded them as they struggled over clumps of sea grass left by the night's high tide. They labored up, down and across valleys of footprints in the sand. The first one sprinted across the wet shore and disappeared under the waves accompanied by cheers and camera flashes. The seagulls were far down the beach but, as just to be safe, one of the men in our group followed it into the water to ward off any possible death from above. It didn't matter. Baby One swam out and, as if from a secret fold in the universe, seagulls appeared and snatched it up and away in spite of our mad waving and shouting.

Just then Baby Two reached the sea and swam out into the waves. This time we were ready and determined to ward off the ravenous gulls. We waved and shouted at the sky. The guy in the water jumped and splashed. Baby Two was snatched up anyway. An aerial battle ensued, seagull on seagull, dive bombing, screeching, dipping, twisting. Baby Two dropped back into the water to more cheers and sudden hopes. It didn't matter. A seagull swooped down and claimed our darling and the battle resumed, rolling down the beach like a storm.

Baby Three continued its perilous journey toward the waves. Generally loggerhead hatchlings emerge from their nests in the sand at night when it's cool and the birds are asleep so, at this point, the Turtle Patrol intervened. They scooped it up into protective custody with a promise to all they'd return in the dark and release it to its fate in the sea.


Roy said...

You tried.

Kristiana said...

stupid "Circle of Life"

asha said...